France

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France

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GPS N46.227638°,E2.213749°
France (Republique Francoise) lies in the western part of Europe. It is quite a big state with the area of 547 030 square kilometres. Its neighbours are Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Spain. As far as the coastline is concerned, it is long 5500 kilometres. This length is divided into four seas: the Northern Sea, the La Manche canal, The Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

France is relatively low situated country. The highest peaks are in the Central Alps; the very highest one is Mont Blanc (4807 metres above see), which is also the highest point in western Europe. Plains cover 2/3 of all the area of France. There are four main rivers: Loire (1012 kilometres), Garonne (575 kilometres), Seine (776 kolometres) and Rhone (552 kilometres). The climate is in general temperate, but can be further subdivided into ocean, mediterranean and continental.

The Republic of France consists of Central France divided into 22 regions, 4 overseas departments (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyana and Réunion), 4 overseas territories: French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna and French southern and artic territories with special status: Mayotte, St. Pierre and Miguelon. The capital city is Paris and other major cities are for example Marseille, Lyon or Nice. From the famous international groups, France is the member of EU, UN, NATO, G8 and some more. The local currency is Euro. The only official language is French.

There are around 60 500 000 inhabitants living in France. The population density is 108 inhabitants per square kilometer. It is on the third place in EU as far as number of inhabitants is concerned. There are 52 cities with more than million and half citizens. Most of the people are French, from national minorities the biggest is Algerian one, then Portuguese, Moroccan and Italian. The prevailing religion is Roman Catholic with about 80 %, the second major is Islamic (5 %).

In the agricultural field, France grows wheat, oat, barley, rye, corn, rise, potatoes, fruit and vegetable and some more. From animal production there are horses, pigs, poultry, sheep or goats. In industry, France mines black and brown coal, oil, natural gas, iron ore, bauxite, lead, zinc and uranium. The prevailing energy sources are nuclear-power plants (around 75 %). Main exported goods are machines and motor vehicles, planes, plastic materials, iron and steel and food.

The international abbreviation for France is FRA, the label on motor vehicles is F, the internet domain is .fr and the international phone code is +33.

External References:
France.com - France Travel Guide
Wikipedia article on France
FranceGuide.com - The Tourist Office Website
France at CIA World Factbook
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